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Entertainer...... ...or....... ..........Technician?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Over the years, I have observed the teaching of 100s of instructors. I think that all instructors fall between the two extremes, although I am sure that we all know pros who are at the extremes.
The Entertainer often has a lot of requests, usually has outcomes in the skiing improvement of their students which are not great. They are usually not the best skiers, and are very defensive about continuing education. Often they have many years experience, which I like to characterize as 1 years experience 20 times, as opposed to 20 years experience.
The Technician feels very confident in his knowledge about the mechanics of skiing, very unsure of himself in people skills. Usually excellent skiers, valuable to the resort in that they can be called on to teach any level skier at any time, whereas the Entertainer usually is not competent to do so.
Obviously, between the extremes, lie most of us.
Just an idea of some other stops between the extremes:
Confidant
Cheerleader
Mentor
Consultant
Expert
Supporter
Friend

There are more, and perhaps y'all can fill in the blanks.
Without a doubt, the ideal instructor will be one who seamlessly moves along the entire spectrum depending on the learning styles of his students. This takes real self-assurance and confidence.
post #2 of 27
Good Post skiswift!

I agree, a well balanced psyche is paramount in the Ski Instructor or FACILITATOR business.

I feel it also takes that same confidence to post and read the reply, or comments.

Way to go!
post #3 of 27
What a spetacular post! Can't think of much to add! One thing, from the one time I took a lesson with Gerhardt, he seemed to encompass many of those qualities!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 06, 2001 06:27 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #4 of 27
GO and others, I wish I could get warmer about the word facilitator. Can't we come up with a better word than that? I don't like the word instructor either: conjures up an image of someone stern with a gray bun and varicose veins distending the Supphose. Facilitator conjures up an image that is fey, which maybe you will have to look up (pick def. 2), but I insist on being instructional on an instructional thread...

Do you understand what I mean? Is there not one word that combines the two concepts (both varicose and limp) in at least two less syllables?
post #5 of 27
skiswift,

Great post!! A few more stops that as with yours are not necessarily mutually exclusive:

Psychologist

Mediator

Developer

Repairman-Repairwoman

Evangelist

Diplomat
post #6 of 27
Father/Mother/Sister/Brother figure
Liberator
Catalyst
Inspirer
post #7 of 27
Dunno why the 2 categories have to be mutually exclusive. Surely someone can have a decent understanding of teaching, and be confidant enough to crack the odd joke, chat with the guests and enjoy themselves? I do the latter, so now I'm all worried that my teaching sucks! (People don't seem to expect female instructors to crack jokes either, causes some consternation initially).
post #8 of 27
I am more the entertainer because that's what my students want. I get mostly groups of school children that have just got out of classes. They are required to take a lesson and just want to have fun. I can't get too tecnical with these guys. I rarely have a lesson where we get technical. The only time I can remember is when I get a bump lesson.
I try to give them what they want.

Later,
zeek
post #9 of 27
Hey I got one!

PUGILIST

No one said Pugulist!


Nolo,
I still like Facilitator, not FACILE as in LIMP but facilitation.

FACILITATION as in lowering the threshold of REFLEX conduction along a particular netrual pathway.

To ths point a facilitator SKI PERSON, would not go into the lesson with a predetermined RESPONSE that he or she wants to see out of the student. The lesseon would FLOW along the GUEST NEEDS and the FEEDBACK what ever it is would be accepted not criticised. By that I am saying that the feed back of a turn that is not a WEDGE if that is what the instructor is looking for but in fact is a darn nice FIRST attempt at a paralell, (only both the inside egde of the down hill and the outside edge of the uphill were engaged so the student fell almost in a split, but finaly to the uphill side) would not be acceptable. In the FACILITATOR role that behavior would be RECOGNIZED as a student who NOW has a "better" grasp on EDGE just needs to tweek the positioning of weight! (before ACL repair is needed)

It is possible that an instructor might take that student and correct the weight distribution issue with teaching that WEDGE thing and then later have a number 2 or 3 student where he can unteach it!

This actualy answers some of the basic questions that are out there in the PSIA world, and moves toward a GUEST CENTERED and FEEDBACK oriented world.

That is my thought for now I can change it later right? Strike that I am, STICKING TO IT!

Oh yeah, back to the question about a better word than Facilitator or Instructor there is one word that does come to mind .....
CONDUCTOR!
"TICKETS! TICKETS!" lesson tickets PLEASE!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 07, 2001 06:59 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Dr.GO ]</font>
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ant--read the closing lines of my post. It is my feeling that great instructors are able to move freely along the spectrum.
We all know instructors who we can classify as 'Entertainer' or 'Technician', but how many do you know who can switch roles with confidence and efficiency?
By definition (mine ), the 2 ends of the spectrum seldom move out of their areas of comfort. When they do, they might become an 'Expert', 'Confidant', or one of the other
descriptives.
Most instructors I know can slot easily into one of the classifications--we all know their Teaching style. To my mind, the ultimate compliment to an instructor is;
If someone asks how he/she teaches, the response is "I don't know, but his students are happy, his groups lively, his outcomes superb, and his request privates abundant'.
This person is very, very rare and worth his/her weight in gold! [img]smile.gif[/img]
Sorry to be so long-winded, but, Ant, the 2 ends are mutually exclusive if they are how you limit your teaching. If you can wander up and down the scale comfortably, you are a star! Some of the descriptives from other posters are intriguing, sometimes I do feel like a therapist out there! :
post #11 of 27
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by skiswift:
Some of the descriptives from other posters are intriguing, sometimes I do feel like a therapist out there! :<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

YEAH you are right on there skiswift, I miised that one too;

TERRORIST
pls. chk my spelling ...
post #12 of 27
I like coach or guide.
post #13 of 27
GUIDE is GOOD!
post #14 of 27
GOD is GOOD!
post #15 of 27
GODDESS IS EVEN BETTER!

Blessed Be

********************************************Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those who are already doing it
post #16 of 27
Was doing some digging to find interesting posts, and this one really caught my attention!

Wow, I've never thought in these terms about my instructors, but in retrospect, I recognize most of them.

A few ideas:

Leader...
Staff sergeant...
Organizer.....
Oracle....
Mirror.........

Damn, run out of ideas
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiswift
Without a doubt, the ideal instructor will be one who seamlessly moves along the entire spectrum depending on the learning styles of his students. This takes real self-assurance and confidence.
Agreed. It also takes training, skill, authenticity, motivation, and enormous caring.

Once somebody at Snowmass asked me (while I was wearing my uniform), "What do you need to do to get a job like yours?" "Aw, nothin'." I replied. "You just gotta be really good lookin'."
post #18 of 27
Skiswift,
Love your post and agree completely. When I started , I was more of the technician and realized I needed to also be the entertainer at times and the many other "roles" in between. After further developing my role as instructor, mentor, ect. I don't even think about what catigory I am presenting to the guests, but just do what I need to do for the guest.
After being in the industry for 27 years, I feel I am still learning and always improving the product (and services) I can bring to the industry.

RW
post #19 of 27
Ski pro is a common name. Personally, I like mentor or coach because those terms imply that my purpose is to help someone learn and to inspire them. Enjoyment is important but I do not think of myself as a professional entertainer.
post #20 of 27

Entertainer or techni\cian

Interesting post, we have all seen both types and of course some really good insructors who can blend both ends of the spectrum. All the other assets listed are also good and helpful. My experience teaching is 2 yrs at Tahoe and 2 yrs in Idaho, so I don't have the experience etc. as some of the above contributors, so let me humbly add an ingrediant I use on almost all ski lesson/encounters.
As a hostagre/cisis negotiator the most sucessful tact was EMPATHY-DEFINITION: Sincere understanding. As a level 1 I teach beginners, most common psychological profile FEAR (at differing degrees). verbal, sincere understanding will go a long was to level off fear and the misunderstanding that a beginner goes through. "you can do this" stay with them, keep contact thru verbalization, visual contact or close observation.

A good example, our (Silver Mt Idaho) examiner level clinician was to instruct us on balance and being centered. We blindfolded a "student/instructor" and talked them down the hill (first a beginner run and second an intermediate hill). When I was the instructor I stayed very close to my blind skier and never lost verbal contact/because I sincerely undersgtood that skiing blind was going to effecgt a person in various ways, i.e. off balance, whats in front of me will i hit something, wheres the side hill going to end, what about the snow, am i going to fast? My empathy was portrayed to the student by very close verbal contact (I was there, I wasn't going to leave, and I was watching out for her). Next when I was blindfolded, my snsructor left me it sounded as if he was 100 yards away and he wasn't therefore really watching out for me - no close contact.

Knowledge, sincerity, confidence, skill and the illusgtration that "you/the ski school/ski resort/ instructors really care can imparted to a student - empathy can really help almost any level of skier. Remember Empathy is not Sympathy.

There is a huge difference in an instructor yelling up from 25-35 yds below, "You can do it" and an instructor beside a student and telling them "I understand you have never done this,and it can be scary, but you ski well enogh to perfrom this task so lets do it together"


BOY I hope is snows in the Northwest this year- No. Idaho - Pete
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems
Once somebody at Snowmass asked me (while I was wearing my uniform), "What do you need to do to get a job like yours?" "Aw, nothin'." I replied. "You just gotta be really good lookin'."
Aww, if it only were really so...
My english teacher used to say : "An airplane pilot must be blond, with blue eyes and tall, you all won't do..." Bleah!:
As it is...I failed to pass the exam to attend the qualification course (to be a Maestro di Sci; I got my PPL but had not enough money to attend the CPL course and work).

So maybe even if you said it in jest, yer right. I failed two things out of two where to be "really good looking" is required. Hence at least for me it must be true .

As for the Topic, I really like the Italian definition
Maestro di Sci (Maestro as in Master of an art, equivalent to Instructor)
Istruttore Nazionale (Instructors' instructor)
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Facilitator conjures up an image that is fey, which maybe you will have to look up (pick def. 2), but I insist on being instructional on an instructional thread...
I feel so uneducated whenever I read through threads in this forum. "Fey". I'm gonna remember that one for Scrabble. That should get me out of some jams.
post #23 of 27
Kevin, that was from a lo-o-o-ng time ago before epicski had a lounge.
post #24 of 27
skiswift and others,

My question I pose to you, suppose your observations are true, to you they usually are, but are they outside of your own paradigms, your own filters on life, but suppose they are, would not the best instructor then be one who possesses both ends of your observations? Both a Technician and an entertainer? Wouldn't someone who could communicate effectively and make you laugh and feel good and really help you improve your skiing ability w/o a lot of frustration, wouldn't that be the ideal instructor/teacher/mentor in any endeavor?

My challenge to those of us on these boards who are instructors is to give this thought if you have not, do not dismiss it, but then think about... can you be funny, do you know your stuff? All of it? if not, then I ask what are you doing this year to improve it? After all, your students are coming to you to improve, shouldn't you set an example, even if not visible today to them from year to year it would be...
post #25 of 27
Instigator!!! (Go ahead Billy, throw the snowball at Mary. I DARE you!)

I'm probably more the technician than the entertainer. I think a lot of the Entertainers also fall into the role of Salesman, and I can't get into that.

Can I call myself a "Knowledge Transfer Engineer"?
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
SkiDogNW wrote.... My question I pose to you, suppose your observations are true, to you they usually are, but are they outside of your own paradigms, your own filters on life, but suppose they are, would not the best instructor then be one who possesses both ends of your observations?

North, please read the last part of my original post...I do say that the best instructors move seamlessly within the spectrum. My feeling is, that one would not be able to do so without recognizing one's predilection to teach in a specific manner, and consciously learning different approaches.

weems, I think your point re:training etc., is well taken. This is where the importance of seeking out experienced, 'certified', compatible instructors lives
post #27 of 27
I guess I would have to say I agree with JohnH... Instigator! :





But I guess I do not understand the purpose of this thread, unless you are asking if we know where we tend to be naturally on the scale? Then I wonder your motivation....

hehe all I come up with is yep... Instigator!


I prefer myself to be the Technician and I drive clinicians nuts sometimes but I need to understand what I am teaching. I have completed Toastmasters and am president of the laughter club at my work so I am doing things to be more entertaining... We are in agreement in feeling, wouldn't you say?

I am sorry to have misunderstood you, but I think I still do.
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